Daily Business Report-March 29, 2017
Rendering of SoccerCity proposal. (FS Investors)
Local Leaders Form Coalition to Urge
Public Vote on SoccerCity Initiative
Dozens of community and business leaders from throughout the city of San Diego are calling for a public vote on the so-called SoccerCity initiative proposed for the Qualcomm Stadium site by FS Investors. They want the City Council to place the issue on the ballot.
“The Qualcomm Stadium site is one of the most valuable public assets in San Diego, and its development will have significant long-term impacts on our city and our region,” said Joe LaCava, a community planner and one of the leaders of the Public Land, Public Vote Coalition. “Residents deserve a thorough, impartial analysis of the SoccerCity project’s impacts and the opportunity to provide input and vote on the project.”
An overwhelming majority of San Diego residents – nearly three-quarters, or 74 percent – believe that the SoccerCity proposal should be placed on the ballot for the voters to decide, according to a recent public opinion poll commissioned by the coalition.
“There is no question that San Diegans want and deserve a say in a project of this magnitude,” said Mike Turk, coalition member and former Lincoln Club Chair. “We’ve banded together to form the Public Land, Public Vote Coalition to urge the City Council to let the voters decide on SoccerCity.”
As part of its push for public input on the project, the coalition plans to shed light on the lack of community engagement in the SoccerCity plan, as well as potential concerns with the project.
“FS Investors prepared more than 3,000 pages in materials on the project without ever garnering public input on its plans or processes,” said Andrea Guerrero, coalition member and executive director of Alliance San Diego. “If the initiative qualifies, the City Council will have only two choices – to adopt it or to place it on the ballot for voter approval. Because it is an initiative, it can’t be changed or amended. Before an irreversible decision is made, the public needs an opportunity to weigh in on this proposal.”
FS Investors is taking advantage of a loophole in state law to bypass the environmental and traffic impact review process through an initiative. All other developments of this scale, and those much smaller, are required to undergo comprehensive environmental studies and provide the opportunity for public comment. By avoiding the established development process, FS Investors is bypassing the state requirement for an environmental impact report, which means there is no independent review of the project’s impacts to the community.
“The environmental review process gives the community a voice in land use decisions,” said Theresa Quiroz, coalition member and City of San Diego Planning Commissioner. “It requires decision-makers to adopt mitigation measures to reduce significant adverse environmental impacts or adopt an alternative. Without it, the potential environmental, traffic and community impacts of the proposed development may not be fully studied, debated or mitigated.”
Under FS Investors’ plan, the investment group would take control of more than 200 acres of city-owned land, including the 166-acre Qualcomm Stadium site and the approximately 50-acre Murphy Canyon practice facility site. Of the 233 total acres, the investors would purchase 79.9 acres, allowing them to get around a law requiring a public vote on the sale of 80 or more acres of public land, and lease the remainder of the land. The way the initiative is written, the city is poised to give away one of its largest and most valuable assets at far below market value with deductions for the cost of demolishing Qualcomm Stadium, environmental issues, and other “extraordinary costs.”
“There is no reason to rush a decision that will permanently change our city,” said Cary D. Lowe, a land use attorney and mediator. “We need to look at competing proposals on how to best redevelop this valuable public site.”
Funding for the Public Land, Public Vote Coalition is being provided by Mission Valley property owners H.G. Fenton Company and Sudberry Properties to support community-wide efforts to call for a public vote on the proposal.
Sycuan Breaks Ground on $226 Million
Hotel and Casino Expansion
The Sycuan Tribal Council officially broke ground Tuesday on an 12-story hotel and casino expansion at its East County reservation.
The $226 million development will include a 300-room hotel, a 11,400-square-foot ballroom and 60,000 more feet of gaming space. Also planned are a pool with a lazy river, a separate pool for adults, a 1 1/2-acre garden, and new restaurants and bars
Tribal Chairman Cody Martinez said the expansion marks “a new chapter in the rich history of the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Indians…We are taking Sycuan to the next level.”
As hundreds watched the groundbreaking ceremony, Martinez reflected that the Sycuan band entered the casino business more than 30 years ago to provide jobs and improve life on the reservation.
“We wanted to put asphalt on our streets, which were dirt,” he said. “We wanted to put braces in our children’s mouths.”
Supervisor Diane Jacob thanked the tribe for improving the nearby roads and for its extensive philanthropic efforts, and called the groundbreaking “a great day” for San Diego.
The enlarged gaming space will accommodate nearly 3,000 slot machines and 80 game tables. The project is expected to be completed in 2019.
“The Southern California gaming experience is one that you can stay overnight at a property,” Martinez said. “It’s not just about gaming, it’s about entertainment, it’s about experience.”
The researchers used their new method to create a map of the surface glycans on an HIV vaccine candidate glycoprotein. (Image from the Paulson Lab.)
Researchers Develop New Method
To ‘Fingerprint’ HIV Virus
HIV is a master of disguise. The virus uses a shield of sugar molecules, called glycans, to hide from the immune system and block antibodies from attacking it.
Now scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have developed a method to analyze the glycan shield on HIV’s protective outer glycoprotein, developed as a potential HIV vaccine candidate. With this method, scientists can rapidly create a “fingerprint” of the glycans on the glycoprotein to tell if they are on the right track in developing an effective vaccine.
“The ability to identify the glycan fingerprint on HIV’s glycoprotein will help us develop a vaccine that matches what is found on the virus,” said James Paulson, co-chair of the Department of Molecular Medicine, who led the study published in the journal Nature Communications.
Cubic to Display Systems at Maritime Expo
Cubic’s global defense and mission solutions businesses will feature a variety of air combat and maritime virtual training systems alongside C4ISR platforms (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) at the Sea-Air-Space Exposition to be held in National Harbor, Md., from April 3 to 5.
Mike Twyman, president of Cubic’s mission solutions unit, said in a statement the company will also present its NextMission strategy with communications and ISR processing products to maritime leaders during the event.
The company will hold demonstrations of its Immersive Virtual Ship Environment; Air Combat Maneuvering Instrumentation; technologies designed to capture, assess, exploit and disseminate information in a network-centric environment; and Type-1 encrypted airborne and surface terminals built to support broadband satellite and line-of-sight communications.
The Navy League hosts the SAS Expo annually to bring together vendors and representatives from the U.S. Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Navy and Merchant Marine.
Northrop Grumman Eyes Space,
Missile Defense Tech Orders
Northrop Grumman plans to compete for task orders to design, build, demonstrate and integrate space and missile defense technology platforms under a potential nine-year, $3.04 billion contract with the U.S. Army.
The company said it will work to help the service branch meet requirements and provide capabilities in the areas of integrated air and missile defense, space, directed energy, cyber space and hypersonics through the indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract.
The D31 Domain 1 contract seeks to provide contractors an opportunity to design and produce a technology offering as a joint capability technology demonstration.
John Parker, vice president and general manager of global logistics and modernization at Northrop’s technology services business, said the D3I program seeks to reflect the company’s “enterprise collaboration effort” to deliver technologies in support of clients’ future missions and requirements.
Northrop is one of the eight companies that won spots on the contract the Army Space and Missile Defense Command awarded in February.
NAIOP San Diego Presents University Challenge
NAIOP San Diego, the commercial real estate development association, will host its 7th annual University Challenge on April 27. Student teams from San Diego State University’s Corky McMillin Center for Real Estate, University of California, San Diego’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning and University of San Diego’s Burnham Moores Center for Real Estate will compete head-to-head in a real estate competition to present the highest and best use for a proposed mix-use redevelopment site in Downtown San Diego.
Potential factors to be addressed may include financing, transit-oriented issues, sustainable development, traffic patterns, community impact and feasibility.
The event will be held at Enclave Sorrento, 9808 Scranton Road, 3rd Floor, San Diego. Registration is at 2:45 p.m. Event is at 3 p.m. Reception 6 p.m.
Cost: $40 for members; $60 for nonmembers; $10 for students; $80 (after 4/20) at the door. CXontact Karen Burges for more information at (858) 509-4110 or Karen@naiopsd.org.
Almost 800,000 U.S. Drone
Owners Have Registered to Fly
More than 770,000 drone owners have registered to fly in U.S. airspace, up 100,000 from January. The announcement was made at the UAS Symposium, co-hosted by the FAA and AUVSI. FAA Administrator Michael Huerta also noted that “more than 181,000 drone owners” registered in the first few weeks. In comparison, the FAA’s manned aircraft database, which “has been operating for about 100 years,” “currently counts 320,000 manned aircraft.” The FAA expects drone usage to continue to soar as hobbyists and commercial users continue to adopt the technology.
Rolf Ziesing Joins General Atomics
Rolf Ziesing has joined General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems as vice president of programs. Ziesing will have overall leadership and day-to-day operations responsibilities for the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) and Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG). He also will be responsible for growth leadership and program management to transition advanced technologies from concept to application in support of critical undersea domain and weapon systems projects.
Prior to joining the business unit of General Atomics, Ziesing was vice president of national security programs and vice president of nuclear equipment manufacturing at BWX Technologies, where he successfully led a $350 million business segment comprising multiple sites manufacturing nuclear reactor components for the U.S. government.
Ziesing also worked at Westinghouse, where he held several key positions.
He began his career as an officer in the U.S. Navy working at Naval Reactors headquarters in Washington D.C.
Shoreline Partners Adds Gary Shields
and Adam Bennecke to Executive Team
Investment banking firm Shoreline Partners has added Gary Shields and Adam Bennecke to its executive team. Combined, they bring 50 years of banking, investment management, legal and business consulting experience.
Shields holds 30 years of experience in helping business owners achieve their financial goals. Shields previously held senior investment banking positions at LF Rothschild in New York and Robertson Stephens in New York and San Francisco. His prior investment banking clients include Laser Power Corp, WebSideStory, Enerdyne Technologies, Cubic Corporation and General Dynamics Electronic Systems.
Bennecke’s career spans commercial banking, law and investment banking. He began his career at Comerica Bank as a commercial banking officer in the Media and Entertainment Division where he structured, underwrote and funded complex project financings and corporate debt facilities. Next, Bennecke was chief financial officer for a successful commercial and residential real estate and mortgage brokerage firm where he oversaw high-velocity company growth.
Paradise Point Resort & Spa Adds
3 Industry Veterans to Executive Staff
Paradise Point Resort & Spa, a Destination Hotel, announced the new hires of Richard N. McLennan as managing director, David Doyle as director of operations and Chris Niles as director of revenue strategy.
McLennan will be responsible for the overall operations of the 44-acre island hotel. He brings 40 years of hospitality management experience from resorts and hotels located throughout the country such as Resort at Squaw Creek in Olympic Valley, Calif., The Island Hotel in Newport Beach and The St. Regis Aspen in Colorado. Most recently, he was the managing director for six years at the Stowe Mountain Lodge in Vermont.
Doyle brings almost two decades of experience in the hospitality industry to his new role as director of operation. Doyle gained extensive know-how owning positions among hotels and resorts including The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess in Scottsdale, Ariz., The Fairmont Copley Plaza in Boston, Mass., The Plaza Hotel in New York, N.Y., and Swissotel Chicago in Chicago. Ill. Most recently, he was director of food and beverage at Hotel del Coronado.
Niles will oversee both the reservations department and revenue optimization department, where he will forecast, maintain the budget and develop expert revenue strategies. Previously he held similar positions in the realm of revenue expertise as area director of revenue for four Chicago-area Commune Hotels & Resorts, director of revenue for Hotel Lincoln in Chicago, Ill., regional director of revenue for Hostmark Hospitality Group, Schaumburg, Ill. and more.